I’m driving through downtown Atlanta yesterday afternoon and I see a billboard featuring Bishop Eddie Long. Bishop Eddie is pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lithonia, GA (an ATL suburb). Bishop Eddie was one of the six mega-pastors who were on the receiving end of Senator Chuck Grassley’s investigation into televangelists and their extravagant lifestyles (an investigation about which I have truly mixed emotions, by the way; that’s not the point of this post anyway).
Bishop Eddie makes nearly a cool million a year. Bishop Eddie drives a $350K Bentley, and lives in a mansion with nine bathrooms on twenty acres. Defending this (indefensible) lifestyle, Bishop Eddie told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2005 that,
“I pastor a multimillion dollar congregation. You’ve got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that’s supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering.”
“Love Like Him, Live Like Him, Lead Like Him”
I assume Bishop Eddie means that we ought to love, live, and lead like Jesus.
And so I find myself wondering if anyone in his mega-congregation sees the irony…
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” – Luke 9:58